Central province restores landscape and forest of Mỹ Sơn Sanctuary

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A group of Chăm towers is surrounded by forest in the Mỹ Sơn Sanctuary. The central province of Quảng Nam began a restoration project on the landscape and nature forest at the site in 2020-25. VNS Photo Công Thành

QUẢNG NAM — Authorities of the central province of Quang Nam have approved the protection and biodiversity restoration project on the Mỹ Sơn historical and cultural scenery site with a total investment of VNĐ96 billion (US$4.2 million) in 2020-25.

Vice-chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Hồ Quang Bửu said at the decision announced on Wednesday that the project aims to protect 1,160ha, of which 95 per cent was primary forest, in the Mỹ Sơn Sanctuary.

It will help replant 36ha of forest in five years and provide strict protection support for the current natural forest area as well as build an eco-tour service and environmental education centre.

The protected Mỹ Sơn relic area, which includes Duy Phú and Duy Hòa communes of Duy Xuyên district, has a rich biodiversity with 37 endangered animal and 238 plant species and a landscape site of Hòn Đền.

According to Nguyễn Công Khiết, deputy head of the Mỹ Sơn Sanctuary World heritage management board, the strictly protected core zone of the sanctuary will be expanded to a larger area to the border of mountainous Nông Sơn District and other communes of Duy Xuyên District.

The move also promotes the conservation of nature, culture and relics in preserving the existence of the Champa Kingdom culture and architecture.

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A 1,000-year-built Chăm tower in the UNESCO-recognised Mỹ Sơn Sanctuary world heritage is still preserved in Quảng Nam Province. VNS Photo Công Thành

The Mỹ Sơn Sanctuary site has been well preserved since it was built thousands of years ago during the prosperous development of the Champa Kingdom between the 4th and 13th centuries.

At least 70 temples and towers were built at the site thousands of years ago, but just dozens of towers are still preserved.

Different restoration projects from UNESCO, India, Italy, and Poland have been implemented to protect the UNESCO-recognised world heritage site over the years.

The first excavation and research on the Chăm towers at the site began in 1898-99 by French archaeologists and researchers – Louis Finot and Launet de Lajongquere in 1901-02, and many artefacts found at the site were brought to the Chăm Sculpture Museum in Đà Nẵng City.

The Mỹ Sơn Sanctuary management board has called for international co-operation and investment in excavation and restoration of F1, F2, D1 and D2 towers to preserve the unique and mysterious archaeological site as a research centre for Chăm culture. — VNS

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